A hapless drifter (Nicolas Cage, this time in a non-comic variation on his innocent dupe persona) turns up in a small town with nothing but his wits to keep him going.
A vengeful local (JT Walsh) with a bitter grudge mistakes the loner for a hitman and offers him a hefty sum to murder Walsh’s wife (Lara Flynn Boyle).
The reluctant killer intends to take the money and run – a dangerous plan that backfires when the real killer (the demonic Dennis Hopper) turns up.
The plot twists and turns deliciously, and John Dahl’s deft direction strikes a clever balance between knowing humour and genuine suspense. The performances are almost uniformly good, with only Boyle’s unconvincing femme fatale letting the side down.
J T Walsh
Lara Flynn Boyle